ECHOTOPOEIA The word Echotopoeia is made up of two ancient greek etymological roots. ‘Echo’ means sound while ‘-topoeia’ is borrowed from the word ‘Onomatopoeia’ which literally translates as ‘making words’ […]
The word Echotopoeia is made up of two ancient greek etymological roots. ‘Echo’ means sound while ‘-topoeia’ is borrowed from the word ‘Onomatopoeia’ which literally translates as ‘making words’ but is used to describe words that resemble the sound of the object described, for instance: bang, meow and hiccup. In this light, ‘Echotopoeia’ can mean ‘making sounds’ and describe sounds that resemble other sounds. This is an accurate job description of the Foley artist. They recreate and record sounds for film and television, whether they are sounds which were not recorded successfully while filming (shoes on surfaces, a rustle in clothing) or if they are new sounds which are difficult to record such as bones breaking, animal noises or explosions. Among objects used include: celery, coconut halves, rubber gloves, frozen cabbage and soap. These objects make up the material of Echotopoeia. Foley actions are shown on a screen while the ensemble recreates their sounds, which were previously recorded, analyzed and arranged by the composer. But all is not as it seems. The visual material begins to take on characteristics of electronic music, the realms intertwine and instruments morph. The sounds’ origins become unclear and the performer become closer to the visual material than they expect.